As the patient, it is your decision whether to take part in a clinical trial. Ask as many questions as you need to ask until the answers are clear to you. Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor.
Each clinical trial has its own benefits and risks. You may benefit from joining a clinical trial in one of the following ways:
Some possible risks include:
Treatment options may include:
Standard treatment: There are standard treatments or “best known” treatments for most types of cancer. Standard treatments change over time as doctors learn from experience and research. In some cases, the standard treatment may be no treatment at all. For example, standard treatment may be to watch the cancer and wait to see if it grows.
Clinical trials: Many clinical trials are for new medicines or treatments that the FDA has not yet approved; however, some trials study treatments that the FDA has already approved. In these trials, doctors may look at new ways to give the treatments, or study different doses. Also, doctors may test treatments in different types of cancer.
Both standard treatment and clinical trials may involve:
Your prognosis is what may happen with your cancer and how your cancer might respond to treatment. It is important to ask your doctor about your prognosis. This may affect your choices about treatment. Ask your doctor how the both standard treatment and the clinical trial might affect your prognosis.
All trials are different. A clinical trial’s sponsor may pay for the new treatment, extra tests and extra doctor visits needed for the trial. The clinical trial sponsor may be:
Your health insurance should pay for tests and doctors visits that you would need even if you were not on the trial. Please ask your clinical navigator to explain how your insurance benefits apply to clinical trials and to learn more about what you might have to pay.